Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACTS:
December 29, 2004 Matt Vanover (IDOT) 217-558-0517
  Tammy Leonard (IDPH) 217-558-1540
  Jennifer Williams (IDPH) 217-558-1542
   

IDOT, PUBLIC HEALTH USING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE HIGHWAY SAFETY

Developing Database Linking Traffic Crash Reports to Health Care Data

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Departments of Transportation (IDOT) and Public Health (IDPH) announced today they are in the process of developing a new database that will assist in highway safety decision-making. The Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System or CODES database is being funded by a $281,000 federal grant from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“CODES will allow us to link our crash records with public health records to get a better picture of the relationship between crashes and injuries,” IDOT Secretary Timothy W. Martin said. “We will be able to see if there are connections between particular types of crashes and injury severity. We can then use this information to make improvements and enhance traffic safety.”

The CODES system will allow IDOT and IDPH staff to match traffic crash reports with health care data from a variety of sources, including emergency medical service records, hospital discharges and death certificates. IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety will use the CODES information to support their decisions to improve traffic safety on Illinois highways. Eventually, the CODES system will be able to better identify the full extent of injuries suffered as a result of impaired driving, not wearing safety belts and not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle.

“By bringing this data together, we will get a better look at the impact of safety equipment on the types of injuries suffered in traffic crashes,” said IDPH Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. “The traffic crash reports are filled out by police, most of whom do not have the medical training for accurate injury assessment. By linking crash data with healthcare data, we will have a more complete picture.”

All individual medical and crash information will remain strictly confidential in compliance with state and federal regulations. IDOT and IDPH are currently in the process of beginning to develop the database and hope to have the full CODES system up and running by the middle of 2005.

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